Grenade Physical Object

Accession Number
Creation Date
circa 1700
Hollow. Absent handle.

2,902.99 g Weight

11.7 cm Diameter

11.7 cm diameter

Exhibition Label
A hollow, cast-iron sphere from the 1700 slave ship Henrietta Marie is a hand-thrown weapon called a grenadoe. The ball was filled with gunpowder, which was ignited via a fuse set in a wooden plug that filled the large, center hole. (The two smaller holes cast along either side are where the ends of an arching, iron handle were set.)The device was a forerunner of the modern grenade. An 18th century marine dictionary says of these weapons: “The sailor fires the fuse with a match, and throws the grenadoe as directed: the powder being inflamed, the shell instantly bursts into splinters that kill or maim whomever they reach on the decks of the enemy.”